According to turf supplier Bladerunner Farms, the club will be the first to transition to this new type of warm season grass. It has been chosen for its shade tolerance, ability to thrive in heat and lower susceptibility to disease. The club expects the change to provide more sustainable turf through summer heat and an overall stronger plant for future playability.
Director of grounds Mark Patterson and his team have started prepping greens; the course closed for the work on 29 May and it is expected to reopen in late summer. Describing the new turf as a “game changer”, Patterson told GCA: “This turf is amazing and demands much less than the ultradwarf bermudas.”
“This project will transform Crooked Creek from a good course that has lacked necessary attention into a great one with a greens turf product that will lead the industry,” said Matt Wilson, national director of operations for Billy Casper Signature, the club’s management firm. “We know with a greatly improved product, a hardworking on-site team and a loyal, engaged membership base, Crooked Creek Club will be a case study for success. We are anxious for the local market, as well as former members, to give Crooked Creek another look when deciding on club membership.”
Patterson – who has discussed the work with the course’s original designer, Mike Riley – will also oversee major improvements to the irrigation system, work on bunkers, levelling of tee surfaces and perimeter “beautification”, to rejuvenate the course’s appearance and playability. The practice facility will also be improved, including the installation of a permanent, high quality mat running along the back edge of the range tee.